Bhagavad-gītā 9.15–18 , New York , 1966-12-02


jñāna-yajñena cāpy anye
yajanto mām upāsate
ekatvena pṛthaktvena
bahudhā viśvato-mukham

[Others, who are engaged in the cultivation of knowledge, worship the Supreme Lord as the one without a second, diverse in many, and in the universal form.]

Now, those who are directly worshiping the Supreme Lord, Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa, they have been described as mahātmā. And there are others, worshipers; they cannot conceive of the Supreme Personality of Godhead directly on account of less..., on account of being less advanced. Therefore they have been described here anye, "others."

So others, they worship the Absolute Truth in three different ways. The first-class others... Amongst the others, there is first class, second class, third class, as amongst the direct worshipers there..., there are first class, second class and third class. In every, I mean to say, department, as you have got experience in the material world, there are things first class, second class and third class. Even in this whole material world is under first class, second class and third class. The first class is mode of goodness, the second class is mode of passion and the third class is mode of ignorance. Simi..., in every department, more or less, there are three classes.

So amongst the persons who worship the Absolute Truth not directly as the Personality of Godhead but as ahaṅgrahopāsanam... Ahaṅgrahopāsanam means taking himself as the Supreme. This we have already explained, that taking himself as the Supreme means, as the part and parcel of the Supreme, if we study myself, then I can understand also what is God. The only difference is: quantitatively, God is great and I am small. Otherwise, so far quality is concerned, that is one. So this ahaṅgrahopāsanam, that is number one.

Then next upāsanā, next worship, is ekatvena pṛthaktvena [Bg 9.15]. Pṛthaktvena means pantheism. Just like there are persons who worship any demigod as God. Their opinion is that there are different forms of God, so any form we accept as God and worship, we shall be benefited. We shall approach the highest perfection. That is another section. So this can be adjusted that God is everywhere. That... There is no denying this fact, because by His energy, He is everywhere.

Just like we are His energy. Living entities, they are superior energy of God. Apareyam itas tu viddhi me prakṛtiṁ parām [Bg 7.5].

[Besides this inferior nature, O mighty-armed Arjuna, there is a superior energy of Mine, which are all living entities who are struggling with material nature and are sustaining the universe.]

Parām means superior. So we are also energy. So energy and the energetic, they're one. Just like the sun and the sunshine, they're not different. So wherever the sunshine is there, there is sun. You cannot deny that. Wherever the sunshine is there, there is sun. Similarly, wherever the energy of God is there, there is God. So in that way, everything is God. Pṛthaktvena. Everything... Pantheism. These are different processes.

But these processes one has to transcend. Just like simply studying the sunshine is not complete study of the sun. Although sunshine is not different from the sun, still, if you simply study scientifically, scientifically, what is the molecules, what are these rays, where this brilliant illuminative thing... So many things you can go on studying. That is also, one sense, studying sun, but not sun also.

So pṛthaktvena and viśvato-mukham. Viśvato-mukham means the universal form. Just like it is stated in the śāstras, the hills, oh, they are bones of God. The trees and grass and, I mean to say, vegetation, vegetation, they are just like hairs on the body of the Lord. So the, the ocean is the navel of God. In this way there are description. The highest planet, Svarga..., Brahmaloka, oh, that is the head of God. The lowest planet, Pātālaloka, that is, I mean to say, sole of the God. These things are described, the whole universal form.

So somebody prefers the universal form, somebody prefers that "All, everything, whatever we see, it is God," and somebody prefers that "I am God." So these are different methods of appreciating God. But they're also accepted, because they have taken into the line. They are better than who are just like animals, simply eating, sleeping and defending and mating. But those who have taken either of these, jñāna-yajñena, pṛthaktvena and viśvato-mukham...

So those who are impersonalist, they prefer these three processes. And those who are personalist, they prefer directly to worship the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Śrī Kṛṣṇa. So they're all transcendentalist. They're on the line. But here in the Bhagavad-gītā, those who are directly worshiping the Supreme Lord, they have been described as mahātmā. And those who are worshiping in other processes, they have been described, anye. Anye means others.

So they have not been given so much importance, although they have been accepted. They have been... Because they have come to the line. Because... Suppose you are accepting the universal form of God. That is a fact also. Because the universe, this manifestation of the universe, is also manifestation of the energy of God. And the energy of God and God is not different. So therefore one who takes the manifestation of the energy as God, he's not mistaken. That is also true. Because there is nothing beyond God. If you think, "I am God," yes, you are also God. Because there is nothing beyond God. Ahaṅgrahopāsanam. If you think everything is God, that is also true. Because in the higher conception, there is nothing beyond God. Sarvaṁ khalv idaṁ brahma. Sarvam, everything.

But the Vaiṣṇava, those who are personalist, they take it in a different way. Why? Because in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said by the Lord, mayā tatam idaṁ sarvaṁ jagad avyakta-mūrtinā: "I am spread all over the universe, all over the manifestation, in My impersonal feature." Mat-sthāni sarva-bhūtāni nāhaṁ teṣu avasthitaḥ [Bg 9.4]:

[By Me, in My unmanifested form, this entire universe is pervaded. All beings are in Me, but I am not in them.]

"Everything is resting on Me, but I am not there." Paśya me yogam aiśvaram [Bg 9.5].

[And yet everything that is created does not rest in Me. Behold My mystic opulence! Although I am the maintainer of all living entities, and although I am everywhere, still My Self is the very source of creation.]

So this simultaneously one and different, this philosophy, is accepted by Lord Caitanya, but it is also accepted in the Bhagavad-gītā, that mattaḥ parataraṁ nānyat kiñcid asti dhanañjaya [Bg 7.7].

[O conqueror of wealth [Arjuna], there is no Truth superior to Me. Everything rests upon Me, as pearls are strung on a thread.]

But this form, these two hands, with flute, Kṛṣṇa, form of Kṛṣṇa, there is nothing beyond this. So one has to come to this point. You may go in different way, accepting yourself as God, accepting everything as God, accepting the universal form of God. If you make actually progress, then you have come to this point. Sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. Again He says mahātmā. When he comes to that point of Kṛṣṇa, bahūnāṁ janmanām ante... [Bg 7.19].

[After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.]

This process you have to proceed, you have to make progress, many, many births. That is line. You have taken the line, that's all right. But it will take some time. Not in one life you'll come to that point.

So therefore in the Bhagavad-gītā it is said that bahūnāṁ janmanām ante. This is culture of spiritual knowledge. That's all right. But simply by culture of spiritual knowledge, without favor, without mercy of the Supreme Lord, you cannot approach the, I mean, ultimate goal. Therefore in the Eighteenth Chapter you'll find, bhaktyā mām abhijānāti [Bg 18.55].

[One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.]

These are all partial understanding of the Supreme. But if you accept this process of Kṛṣṇa consciousness, then you directly approach, directly approach the Su... Because after all, unless you approach to that point, that vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti [Bg 7.19], "Here is Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa, Vāsudeva. He is everything"... So those who are intelligent, they take the root. You see? Therefore in the Caitanya-caritāmṛta you'll find in a very nice verse, kṛṣṇa yei bhaje sei baḍa catura. [Cc Madhya 19.151]

[One who takes to Kṛṣṇa consciousness seriously and perfectly, he must be very, very intelligent.]

Catura means very intelligent. One who worships Kṛṣṇa directly, he's very intelligent. Why he's very intelligent? He does not take so much roundabout way; he goes directly. If it is a fact that one has to come to this point for perfection of knowledge, why not take it immediately? I may not understand anything; I accept it. Let me accept it blindly.

Some scientist and some layman... And the teacher says, "This is fire." Oh, scientist says, "Oh, I'll see the characteristics of fire. I must see. Then I shall accept." All right, you can see. And somebody says, "All right, you are teacher. You are saying it is fire. All right, I accept it." But the scientist, who after studying the characteristics fire may come to the fire, he'll also feel the warmth of the fire, the heat of the fire, the light of the fire. He'll also understand. And this man, blindly or by devotion, by love, accepts... The result is the same, because fire is fire. Either you blindly touch it or your scientifically touch it, fire will act.

So this Bhagavad-gītā says that those who are trying to make a show of their knowledge, so let them do that. Viśvato-mukham. The universal form, pantheism, monotheism, monism—we have so many theories. But not atheism. You see? So they will have come to this point. And sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ. Why does He say, sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ? Because the path is not very easy. Spiritual path and to attain complete perfection is not very easy, especially in this age.

In this age we are not living for long time. We are not very intelligent. We may think that we are very intelligent, but we are not intelligent, because we do not know "What I am." Ask anybody, "What you are?" He has the conception of this body. Therefore he's not intelligent. As soon as one will say, "Yes, I am this, such-and-such gentleman, a son of such-and-such gentleman. My country is such and such," these are all false. So nobody knows it. Therefore one who does not know it...

Sanātana Gosvāmī—we were teaching in the morning—he said that grāmya-vyavahāre kahe paṇḍita: "Even the laymen, the laymen, they call me a very learned man. I accept it. But actually, I am not learned man." Why? "Because I do not know what I am. If I do not know what I am, then what is the use of other knowledge?"

So actually, the intelligent person who knows his real position, his constitutional position, and his relationship with Kṛṣṇa, then he takes directly this Kṛṣṇa consciousness. And that is recommended in the Bhagavad-gītā and all scriptures. All scriptures. But if you want to go roundabout way, you can go, but you have come to this ultimate point. That is the conclusion.

Then there are divisions of Vedic knowledge: fruitive activities, worship and knowledge. So Lord Śrī Kṛṣṇa is describing about the fruitive activities, sacrifice. In sacrifice we require so many things. Dravya-yajña. By material things... We require clarified butter, we require grains, we require mantra, chanting and fire. So many things we require. So Lord says,

ahaṁ kratur ahaṁ yajñaḥ
svadhāham aham auṣadham
mantro 'ham aham evājyam
aham agnir ahaṁ hutam

[But it is I who am the ritual, I the sacrifice, the offering to the ancestors, the healing herb, the transcendental chant. I am the butter and the fire and the offering.]

"Now, all this paraphernalia for sacrificing a yajña, for performing a sacrifice—the fire, the butter, the clarified, the wood, and the mantra and other paraphernalia—everything is Myself. Everything I am." That's true, because everything is produced by His energy.

Anything, whatever you take, that's a transformation of energy. Parasya brahmaṇaḥ śaktiḥ sarvedam akhilaṁ jagat [Viṣṇu Purāṇa]:

[Just as the illumination of a fire, which is situated in one place, is spread all over, the energies of the Supreme Personality of Godhead, Para-brahman, are spread all over this universe.]

"Whatever you are seeing in the universal manifestation, they are simply manifestation of the different energy of the Supreme Lord." Just like in this room, this illumination is the energy of this light. Therefore we are seeing each..., one another. Similarly, as the fire is placed in one place but it distributes its heat and light, similarly, although the Lord is in His supreme abode, His energy is acting. The same example: just like the sun planet is far, far away, but its energy, sunshine, is all-over distributed, over the manifestation, material manifestation.

So He's everything.

pitāham asya jagato
mātā dhātā pitāmahaḥ
vedyaṁ pavitram oṁkāra
ṛk sāma yajur eva ca

[I am the father of this universe, the mother, the support, and the grandsire. I am the object of knowledge, the purifier and the syllable om. I am also the Ṛk, the Sāma, and the Yajur [Vedas]]

Now He says, pitāham asya jagataḥ: "I am the father of this material world." How He becomes father? What is the definition of father? The father is who gives the seed. He is father. And again He says mātā: "I am mother also." What is the definition of mother? Mother receives the seed from the father, and the child is born. Similarly, this material energy is the mother, this... We have got this body from mother. So this matter, material covering, is the mother. And I am, I am spiritual spark, the seed. I am the part of Supreme.

So the material energy is also the energy of the father, and as I am a spiritual spark, I am also a part of the Supreme. So He is my father and mother. Therefore somebody worships the Supreme Lord as mother, Goddess Kālī, or... That is materialism. Because in the present conception of our life, this body given by the mother is matter. Therefore worship mother means worship the matter. That's all. There are so many worship of mother. You worship your country. That is the same, material worship. This is called śakty-upāsanā. Śakti. Śakti means you are worshiping the energy of the Lord, not the Lord directly. You are worshiping the energy.

All this nationalism or so many "ism" we have discovered, they are... Even the scientist. Scientist also, they worshiping the mother. He's finding out the complexities of the matter, so he's also worshiping mother. So materialism. This is called materialism. One who is worshiping the mother, material energy, he's called śakta.

There are five stages of evolution: śakta, then gāṇapatya, then saura, then śaiva, then vaiṣṇava. In this way, there are five stages. So the impersonalist, they worship in five ways, pañcopāsanā. They are called pañcopāsanā. So one..., when he comes to the Viṣṇu stage, he comes to the real stage. But impersonal Viṣṇu, all-pervading Viṣṇu, but when he come to the personal Viṣṇu, then that is perfection of worship.

So, so any kind of worship the Lord accepts, in this way. But that acceptance and devotional acceptance is different. If you are worshiping materialism, that's all right. You get material benefit. Actually you are getting. You are getting. But that is not spiritual. Ye yathā māṁ prapadyante tāṁs tathaiva bhajāmy aham [Bg 4.11].

[All of them—as they surrender unto Me—I reward accordingly. Everyone follows My path in all respects, O son of Pṛthā.]

One who worships the Supreme Lord materially, he gets material benefit. And one who worships spiritually, he gets spiritual benefit. But you cannot expect spiritual benefit by material worship. That is not possible. Everything accepted as the worship of the Supreme, but they have got different result also.

Just like in the ordinary life: you are working in office as a clerk, you cannot expect the salary of the high court judge. How can you expect? As you are working, you'll get a salary. Similarly, everything is God. That's all right. Everything is government service. But a foolish constable is not equal to the magistrate. He can say, a constable also can say, that "I am in government service." That's all right. But you are not equal to the magistrate. You are not equal to the high court judge. You may be government servant. That's all right. So similarly, everything is worship of God. That's all right. But you cannot be equal to the supreme worshiper. Na ca mām. "There is nobody dearer than Me..., than he...," in the Bhagavad-gītā you'll find.

So our ultimate aim is how to become in confidence of the Supreme Lord. So if you want to be in confidence of the Supreme Lord, then you have to take this devotional service. Bhaktyā mām abhijānāti, yāvān yaś cāsmi tattvataḥ [Bg 18.55].

[One can understand the Supreme Personality as He is only by devotional service. And when one is in full consciousness of the Supreme Lord by such devotion, he can enter into the kingdom of God.]

The Lord says, "One can confidentially understand Me by bhakti, by devotional service, not by any other means." "Not by any other means." Bhaktyā. It is clearly stated. So if you want to be directly in touch, directly in touch with the president, then you have to work differently. And if you are satisfied to become a constable in the government service, that is a different thing. You cannot contact. So there, although everything is God worship, still, there are degrees, there are differences. We must remember.

Then He says,

gatir bhartā prabhuḥ sākṣī
nivāsaḥ śaraṇaṁ suhṛt
prabhavaḥ pralayaḥ sthānaṁ
nidhānaṁ bījam avyayam

[I am the goal, the sustainer, the master, the witness, the abode, the refuge and the most dear friend. I am the creation and the annihilation, the basis of everything, the resting place and the eternal seed.]

The Lord says that gatir bhartā. Gati means "Everyone is coming to Me gradually," gati. Gati means destination. "They're all coming to Me." And bhartā. Bhartā means maintainer. God is maintaining us. God is maintaining us, and He's giving us chance, "All right. You come this way or that way, that way. That's all right. Come gradually, gradually. That's all right." Gatir bhartā prabhuḥ. Prabhu means He is the Lord. Nobody can be equal... Otherwise there is no question of worship.

If you think that "I am God," so there is process of worship also: the, I mean to say, ahaṅgrahopāsanam. Just like we, devotees, we offer flowers to the Lord, they take the flower and offer to themselves. We offer the garland to the Supreme Lord in the..., on the statue, or the form of Lord. And they take the garland and put on his own neck. You see? So the question is that if you are God, then why you are worshiping..., why others not worshiping you? You are worshiping yourself. So what kind of God you are? Everyone worships, "Oh, I am the Lord. I am everything."

So this is a sense that in that process one may understand, if one day comes into his sense, "Well, I am God. I am worshiping myself. But if I go to the street, nobody asks me. What kind of God I am?" So this sense should come. I may think, "Well, I understand that God lifted the hill. Kṛṣṇa, He lifted the hill at the age of seven years. Oh, I cannot lift even hundred pounds or fifty pounds. What kind of God I am?" So this sense should come. You can worship yourself as God. That's all right. That's a process. That process is to understand that you study yourself, and then you understand the real constitution of God, not that you become God.

So these are different methods, of course. But we should not be satisfied simply by the methods. We should try to go further, on and on. Just like a little boy, he is promised by the father... He is in the eighth class. Father says, "My dear boy, if you can pass this eighth class, then I can make you a magistrate. I shall make you a magistrate." Boy is very enthusiastic: "I shall become a magistrate." You see? So similarly, these are some of the encouragement.

And actual point is, that we have come to the last point, is vāsudevaḥ sarvam iti sa mahātmā sudurlabhaḥ [Bg 7.19].

[After many births and deaths, he who is actually in knowledge surrenders unto Me, knowing Me to be the cause of all causes and all that is. Such a great soul is very rare.]

If you want to be the rare, great soul, then you have to come ultimate to Kṛṣṇa, the Supreme Lord.

Thank you very much. Any question? [end]